Astaxanthin Reduces Demyelination and Oligodendrocytes Death in A Rat Model of Multiple Sclerosis

Document Type : Original Article



Astaxanthin (AST) is a carotenoid with anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties. It has also been reported that AST exerts protective effects against neurodegenerative diseases and reduces oxidative stress-induced the central nervous system (CNS) injury. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the protective potential of AST in inhibiting demyelination and oligodendrocyte death in a rat model of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, forty Wistar rats were randomly assigned to four experimental groups: control group (with normal feeding), cuprizone (CPZ group) that daily received 0.6% CPZ for 4 weeks, sham group that daily received 0.6% CPZ plus dimethyl sulfoxid (DMSO) for 4 weeks, and AST group that daily received 0.6% CPZ and after 12 hours were treated with AST (3 mg/kg), for 4 weeks. Muscle strength was evaluated by the behavioral basket test at the end of every week for 4 weeks. Luxol Fast Blue (LFB) staining was utilized for the identification of myelination and demyelination. Myelin density was evaluated by the ImageJ software. The expression of A2B5 (oligodendrocyte precursor protein) and myelin oligodendrocyte protein (MOG) were assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and the expression of myelin basic protein (MBP), MOG, and platelet-derived growth factor-alpha (PDGFR-α) genes was examined by the real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique.
The administration of AST reduced the oligodendrocyte damage and myelin sheath disruption in a rat model of MS. The basket behavioral test showed the improvement of muscle strength in the AST group compared with CPZ and sham groups. Besides, the results of real-time PCR and IHC indicated the beneficial effects of AST in declining demyelination and oligodendrocyte death in a rat model of MS.
AST reduces damages to the myelin sheath and oligodendrocyte death in a rat model of MS.